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Pierrefonds clinic may be forced to cut walk-in services

Click to play video: 'West Island walk-in clinic in jeopardy' West Island walk-in clinic in jeopardy
WATCH: A Pierrefonds clinic that services tens of thousands of people in the West Island may have to eliminate its walk-in services and residents in the area are concerned it will impact the quality of health care in their neighbourhood. Global's Felicia Parrillo reports – Mar 20, 2018

Medistat clinic is busy.

Just like every other day, for the past 28 years, doctors here are attending to both their regular patients and walk-ins.

But that’s something that may soon change.

“Since 2007, we’ve been funded by the government to become a network clinic, or a ‘clinique réseau’, which we’ve been for the past 11 years,” said Medistat Medical Director Dr. Benjamin Gordon. “We were told about a year and a half ago that these super clinics were coming and we would have to become a super clinic or we would lose our funding.”

The problem is that in order to become a super clinic, Medistat needs to be open a certain number of hours.

READ MORE: Statcare designated super clinic by Quebec Health Minister

To do that, they need to hire more doctors – something they haven’t been able to do due to a necessary permit for doctors to work in the West Island. The clinic interviewed nine doctors to work at Medistat, but none had the permit.

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And now, their funding from the government is running out.

“We’ve had to make a decision as to whether or not we need to close our walk-in clinic,” said Gordon. “Because without the budget, we have trouble paying our secretaries, nurses, IT support and all the things that the budget would supply for us.”

Medistat Clinic in Pierrefonds on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Felicia Parrillo/Global News

This Pierrefonds clinic is the only one of its kind in the northern part of the West Island.

It mainly serves people from Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Île Bizard, Kirkland and Pierrefonds.

It has around 32,000 patients – 11,000 of which are walk-ins.

READ MORE: Health minister announces new Montreal super clinic in Cote-des-Neiges

“I think it’s terrible because always I’ve been coming here for the last 15 years,” said Dollard-des-Ormeaux resident Elise Anousos. “It’s always very, very busy, so I’m sure a lot of families will be lost because there’s not many [walk-in clinics] around here.”
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Pierrefonds-Roxboro Borough Mayor Jim Beis agrees. He said if the walk-in clinic were to close, it would be a huge blow to the community.

“I think it’s [a] sad time and I think that the government needs to reconsider some of these smaller clinics that are situated in heavily residential areas,” he said.

Global News reached out to the health minister for his position on the future of Medistat’s walk-in clinic. A spokesperson for Gaétan Barrette said they are aware of the situation and looking into it.

When asked if the minister would grant the clinic temporary funding, they said all options are being considered but no decision has been taken as of yet.

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